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Everything posted by waterbear

  1. Pros and Cons of pressure vs. suction side cleaners (and robotics and in floor) Suction side will put all the dirt into your filter and require it to be cleaned more often. They will clog your pump basket with large debris like leaves unless you also buy a leaf trap. If you only have suction thru your skimmer port and don't have a dedecated suction line you will not have surface skimming while the cleaner is hooked up. They are the easiest to fit into a pool that is not fitted with a dedecated cleaner line and generally work very well. They generally cost less than pressure side cleaners. Pressure side cleaners require a dedecated pressure side line and a booster pump which can be difficult, but not impossible, to retrofit into an existing pool. The ones that don'e require a booster pump do take up one of the returns and can cut down on the circulation in the pool. They cost more than suction side cleaners. Most of them need yearly tune up kits which can be expensive. The generally do a better job than suction side cleaners and catch the debris in their own bags or chambers and do not overload your filter. They help to increase the circulation in the pool and the distribution of both heat and chemicals. They usually can handle large things like leaves and such better and it is possible to run them and sill have your skimmer fully operational. IMHO, the best bet is a robotic cleaner. They really do the best job of all. biggest drawback is the price which is usually about double than pressure side cleaners. In floor cleaning systems look good on paper and can work well if properly designed and installed for your pool but by nature they put a strain on the plumbing system of the pool with the wild and constant fluctuations in pressure as they operate. They are expensive and only available on new pool installations. NON of these cleaning systems eliminates the need to brush your pool regularly!
  2. Like I stated before Eco One is an enzyme and floc product. Your fillwater might be new but that does not mean that your spa is clean. There might be deposits in the plumbing (body oils, mold, etc.) that the enzymes are removing and that are then clumping together because of the flocculant action. Most of the enzyme based spa products out there tell you in their literature that when you start using them you might find your water is "dirter" before it gets cleaner or that the recommend a "purge" procedure to clean out the spa plumbing, cover, etc. (Eco One recommends this, as does Natural Chemstry's Spa Perfect and Spa Purge) so what you are seening is pretty normal with enzyme products. Enzymes do not elimiate the need for proper water balancing and sanitation. They are supplimental products that are used IN ADDITION to your normal sanitizing and balancing regieme. The Eco One website even states that the procduct must be used with an EPA appoved sanitizer which means chlorine or bromine. (realize that copper based prducts like Clearwater Blue, etc. are EPA approved as algacides/bateriacides--not the same thing) and that some enzyme products are not compatible with biguinide sanitation regiemes. Hope this helps.
  3. all I know was it was "direct from manufaturer and had his brand and he put the jets in to measurenent (we sat in the different parts of it and he marked where the jets would go. He had about 9 or 10 different models, both round and square (some rectangular) and some bathtub spas for installation instead of a bathtub.He also gave options as to the filtration and purification systems and sold ionizers, ozone, biguinide, bromine, and chlorine. His recommendation was chlorine or possibly bromine when I purchased mine and told me start with chlorine and if there were problems it would be easier to switch to bromine instead of the reverse. From what I NOW know about water chemistry I realize he gave me very sound advice!
  4. If you ever were forced to try chlorine or bromine you might change your mind about those systems All three system work when done properly. I would hate to see you give up your spa. Each system has it's strengths and weaknesses, Each one works. There is a difference in how much they actually cost over a years time and how much time you need to invest to keep your water healthy. My point is that chlorine is the easiest and the least expensive once you understand it and that biguinde is the most expensive and most restrictive when done properly. The important thing with all three systems is to keep you water balanced and sanitized properly!
  5. Perhaps those dealers were trying to do you a favor and save you some money in the process. I bet the arctic spa dealer sells a biguinde based system and he is reaping in the profits. I actually do know a bit of what I am talking about since I work in a pool/spa supply store besides being a pool/spa owner.
  6. I got the spa from a dealer in Ft Lauderdale, Fl It was his house brand (all he carried) and it had 2 recliners, l lounge seat (semi recline) and bench seating for 6 with 2 neck jets on the recliners and lounge, rotating back jets, shoulder jets, some type of ocillating jets, foot jets, etc. . It was acually not the bigges one he had. there was on that was a bit bigger but it was not as comfortable when I wet tested it. The cartride for the filter was almost as big as the one in my current pool/spa setup (pentair clean and clear 150) being maybe about a foot shorter but it was wider. It was a lot of fun.
  7. In a perfect world. You obvioulsly never lived iwth a 10x10 foot spa! putting the CYA in the water with each refill and then sanitizing with unstabiized chlorine is MUCH easier than wresling with a 10x10 hard cover It was my spa dealer who got me on this track. He suggested it and it worked. He said bromine would be another alternative that would work. I then went to bromine and it did work but I had more problems with pH and alkalinity than with chlorine.
  8. why would the water care of a self contained acrylic spa and an ingound acrylic spa be any different?
  9. I take it you have never seen a self contained spa in S FL during the summer with the cover left off for a week or two at a time IF the spa is using chlorine as the primary sanitizer it will all be burned off in a very short time by the UV in the sun. Even if dichlor is the primary source of chlorine, the level of CYA in the water will not be high enough to keep a FC residual for any length of time right after a new fill. Adding CYA to the proper level will help maintain the FC level.
  10. My 10'x10' spa was a portable 480 gal spa and was on chlorine first two years (1999-2000) and then bromine until I replaced it with my current IG fiberglass pool and 300 gal acrylic spa last year. I get year round use since I live in Florida. My comment about the 10x10 hard cover was that since it was a two person job to take tit off or put it on it tended to stay off the spa for weeks at a time! I just keep a solar blanket on my current spa and it is very easy to put on and remove. Since I stated in the post that you quoted that my previous spa WAS a portable you might want to go back and re read it a bit more carefully. Then you might understand what I was saying. As far as a covered spa not getting algae I have seen mustard algae grow in a spa that was covered for almost a month.. TDS is not much of an issue if the spa is drained and refilled regularly but CYA levels ARE if chlorine is the primary sanitizer. It is important to get the CYA levels up to about 30 ppm on each fresh refill. My feeling on the subject is to balalnce the water, put in the right amount of CYA, and then use non stabilized chlorine for sanitation and shock. This way you KNOW what your numbers are until it's time to refill again and your regular maintenacne boils down to montering the chlorine and pH and checking water balalnce and CYA monthly---assuming a 3-4 month refill period.
  11. Depends on the contractor. Some of them want to sell you every new techonology that is available, even some of the ones that are dubious, at best. Look at ozone and in floor cleaners, for examples! Both are examples of technology that introduce more problems then the problem they are meant to solve and both can actually damage your pool system When I was getting my pool quotes a few years back EVERY contractor that I spoke with recommmended going with a SWG, btw!
  12. if chlorine is your primary sanitizer and the spa is exposed to UV from the sun (When I had my 10'x10' spa I used to leave the hard cover off for a week or two at a time becuase it was a two person job to put it on or off! I KNOW I am not the only one who does this!) then you need to maintain a level of CYA in your spa to keep the residual chlorine from being destroyed. Probably more important in a spa than in a pool becuase of the higher temp! Otherwise you will end up with 0 FC in the water and can get algael and even worse problems! Dichlor as a primary sanitizer will continue to add CYA to the water but it is usually easier to get the CYA levels correct after a fill and then add unstaiblized Chlorine (liquid is easiest and cheapest) to bring up your FC to the proper level and to shock. I kept my first spa (10'x10' portable 480 gal) on chlorine for 2 years before switching to bromine (If I had unserstood the chemisty better then I would have kept it on chlorine! Less smell and easier to keep balalnced!) and my currnet spa (built in acrylic shell next to my pool) is on a SWG along with my pool. Maintenance is minimal!
  13. What you are using are Dichlor granuales. Dichlor is Dichlor is Dichlor. If you are looking for the best price check at places like walmart, lowes, and home depot and also check out the larger online pool and spa supply houses on the net like Leslies. You want dichlor granules. Dichlor is the only stabilized chlorine that is used in a spa. Both Dichlor and trichlor are used in pools.. . Dichlor is usually listed as having around 50-60& chlorine while trichlor is usually listed at having around 85-90% chlorine. Read the ingredients and look for Sodium Dichloroisocynurate. That would be your Dichlor!
  14. you want to bring the level of hypochlorus acid in the water up to at LEAST 10 ppm, it really depends on the level of CYA in the water. if you have been using exclusively dichlor for your sanitizer you might have fairly high CYA levels in your water requiring much higher concentrations of both free cholorine for normal sanitizing and also for shocking. At recommended levels of 30-50 ppm CYA for an outdoor chlorine sanitized spa you should run you FC at about 5 or 6 ppm and shock at at least 15 ppm. How you put the hypochlorus acid in the water doesn't really matter. It can be dichlor, cal hypo, lithium hypochlorite, or sodium hypochlorite (liquid chlorine, laundry bleach---same thing excpet for the concentration and therefore how much you need to add), or chlorine gas injected in the water or manufactured in the cell of a Salt Water Chlorine Generator. Both of the last two methods actually create sodium hypoclorite in the water so are basically identical to adding either liquid chlorine or bleach! If you would care to get into any more of the acutual chemisty involved I would be glad to explain it.
  15. Actually the 360 is the only 3 wheeled Polaris pressure side unit that does NOT require a booster pump but runs off the returns. It is similar the the 380 which does require a booster pump.The ATV is a suction side cleaner. There are merits to both types of cleaners but if they are planning a new pool it is very easy to put in a dedecated pressure side line since the pressure side, booster pump driven cleaners have many advantages over both non booster pressure models and suction side models. And finally, it is NOT necessary to have the booster pump built in when you build the pool. They can be retrofitted into many existing installations!
  16. In floor cleaners, if properly designed and installed for your pool do work very well but with a price. They require a larger pump because of the increased pressure or "head" they create in the system and the popup systems ususally have a manifold assembly that really plays havoc with the pressure in your plumbing system every time it changes outputs. You can actually follow this by watching the filter pressure gauge on a system that has an in floor cleaner. If you are considering adding a pressure side cleaner they do work well with in floor cleaning systems but I would recommend having a dedicated pressure line and booster pump installed when the pool is built and going with the polaris 280 or 380 instead of the 360. As an alternative you might want to forgo both the in floor and the pressure side cleaner and just get a robotic cleaner. It will cost you less than the in floor and pressure side, do a better job, and be easier to maintain. The biggest drawback is that you have to put it in the pool and turn it on!
  17. Eco one contains enzymes and flocculants. the enzymes will break down organics in the water and the "floc" will make them clump so they can be filtered out. IF your water has that much orgainic stuff in it and you are using dichlor you need to test (with a drop based DPD test kit---strips just aren't accurate enough for what you need to know) your Free chlorine and combined chlorine leves and make sure your FC is at least 3 ppm and that there is NO combined chlorine. If there is( and I would bet that there is) you need to shock (bring the FC up to about 15 ppm, easiest way is with liquid chlorine or laundry bleach---same thing except for the concentration), Unfortunately, this will destroy the enzymes in the Eco One and you will need to reapply it. Actually if you keep on top of your water balance , test properly , and keep your sanitizer levels at the proper range the need for a product like Eco One sort of goes away!
  18. Just for your info. The manufature of zeolite which is a filter medium for pool sand filters recommends that the filter medium be cleaned MONTHLY when using biguinide and for bromine and chlorine it is YEARLY! Biguinide generates goo whether it is reacting with chlorine, bacteria, or whatever else is in your water. It is the nature of the beast! I kept my old spa on bromine for many years and my new spa/pool combo is on chlorine with a salt water generator. I don't even have to rinse off when I get out. NO smell, irriatation, etc. Bromine was good but that smell would linger on your skin. Biguinide was too expensive and just never kept the water clean, IMHO. If I wanted to soak in peanut butter I'd jump in a jar of Jif!
  19. Sodium hypochlorite is LIQUID! It is a non stablized chlorine that can be used for sanitation, shock, or making sure your whites are white in the washer! The most commen granular chlorine used in spas is Dichlor which is slightly acidic. Trichlor (the OTHER stabilized chlorine) is not recommended for spas and is very acidic
  20. One of the places the "goo" can come from is your fill water. Biguinide does not react well with chlorine and if there is a free chlorine residual in your fill water ( as there is in most city water) then it will react with the biguinide and create the "goo" which will clog up your filter and deposit all over your spa. the white water line sounds like scale deposit. that will happen with any type of sanitizer if your water is not balanced. Get a drop based test kit and check your Alkalinity, Calcium (even if you don't add any there might be calcium in your fill water), and pH. Test strips are not accurate enought to properly balance your water. I also noticed someone comment about the 'musty smell' of a biguinide sanitized spa in this thread. That can happen if the hydrogen peroxide oxidizer is not used enough and there is a high level of organics in the water. It means you need to shock (this is assuming the biguinide levels are proper) AS far as the blue light cover deteriorating, that is most likely from your ozonator. Anyone who has ever used ozone in a salt water aquarium (and it's been used in aquariums MUCH longer than it has been used in spas) will tell you that ozone will degrade and destroy plastic of variuos types! Hope this helps!
  21. Adding sodium bicarb will also cause a slight rise in pH will will make both chlorine and bromine less effective. Alk should be balanced to around 80-120 ppm anyway if you are keeping on top of your water chemistry!
  22. Even with proper total alkalinity levels the different types of chlorine will have an impact on the pH. Having an alkalinity buffer will not keep you pH from slowly changing but it will keep it from "bouncing".
  23. Expensive when compared to both bromine and chlorine with chlorine being the least expensive. A cartridge filter in a spa running biguinide will probably not last as long as one running either chlorine or bromine and as was noted earlier in this thread if you refill with water that has a free chlorine residual (as most city water does) it will react with the biguinide and form a goo that will collect in the filter and aound the tub. You might want to check out the conversion process for switching from biguinide to chlorine. It is usually done by keeping very high levels of chlorine in the water until the biguinide is eaten up. In the process the water changes to the color of pea soup and the filter medium needs to be replaced once the conversion is done becuase it is usualy ruined by the goo. All that said biguinide IS an effective sanitizer when used properlyl.
  24. depends on the type of chlorine. There are two types of chlorine commenly used in spas as either sanitizer or shock-- dichlor (one form of stabilized chlorine--usually granuales) which is slightly acidic and will slowly lower pH and liquid chlorine or household bleach (same thing except for the concentration) which is alkaline and will raise pH. Calcium hypochlorite (Cal Hypo) and lithium hypochlorite are both powers that are sometimes used as shock. Both are alkaline and will raise pH Monopersulfate (non chlorine shock) is very acidic and will lower pH. The more important question is what does the pH do to chlorine. Chlorine, whether primary sanitizer or shock, is more effective at a lower pH (7.2-7.4) than at the higher end (7.6-7.8)
  25. There is only one non chlorine system that is EPA approved for pools and that is biguinide (Bacqua, Softswim, etc..) While they do work they are probably the most costly way to sanitize and they are very hard on filters, tend to goo them up. Other systems (copper/silver/zince ions whether introduced by a cartridge (poolfrog, zodiac), ionizer, or a liqued (Pristine Blue, etc.) STILL require a .5ppm residual free chlorine for sanitation. They will not provide safe (pathogen free) water on their own and introduce metals into the water that can create problems (staining of pools and people)! Salt systems work very well (they maufacture chlorine by electrolysis of salt) and at the level of salt that most manufaturers recommend (about 3200ppm) you will NOT taste the salt and will probably never have to shock or deal with combined chlorine once they are adjusted properly. Combined chlorine and shocking is the biggest drawback and headache to using chlorine. All these different systems still require that you balance your water but it is really very easy to learn how.
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